Wine and Cheese Pairings (Part 1) - Swiss, Baby Swiss, Smoked Brick
Wine and cheese have been used to enhance each other's flavor since ancient times. However, because the quality of much wine before the 1900's was questionable, it was commonplace to use cheese to actually mask the flavor of bad wine.
So, much like the advent of oak aging was originally an accident (oak barrels were the best way to store wine during ocean shipping and people actually came to enjoy and prefer the oaked flavor), the same is true with cheese. Here are some simple rules to remember when pairing wines with cheese:
- Highly tannic and younger red wines (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Malbec) do better with harder, sharper cheeses
- White wines are quite versatile in pairing with cheeses, but are better paired with softer, creamier cheeses
- Lighter, more elegant reds like red Burgundy (which is Pinot Noir), Pinot Noir, Merlot, and right bank Bordeaux (high Merlot content) pair wonderfully with buttery and/or nutty middle-of-the-road cheeses like Swiss, Mont d'Or, Port Salut, or Raclette
- Champagne and other sparkling wines are a perfect match for Brie
- Blue cheeses and very pungent cheeses go best with sweet dessert wines or extremely strong and powerful reds
DIY: Try it yourself with theese wine and cheese pairings
Baby Swiss - baby Swiss is made with whole milk - meaning all of the butterfat becomes part of the cheese- and it's a perfect pairing with a balanced Chardonnay.
Swiss - this award-winning Swiss cheese has a buttery, nutty flavor. Pair it with a beautifully balanced Pinot Noir.
Smoked Brick Cheesw - this delicious and smoky cheese is a no-brainer to pair with Zinfandel, which traditionally goes well with smoked meats or a bonfire. Try this a Zinfandel from Wine Sonoma County that has very intense and exotic fruit flavors and some nice oak to provide a good backbone with the smoky cheese.
As always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on twitter (@bobfwilson) if you have any questions or need any recommendations. Cheers and enjoy.